Harry Connick, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez judge ‘American Idol’

The show returns for a 13th season on Fox

Fox’s American Idol (AI) is back for a 13th season with a new panel of all singer judges. The aging singing competition is returning to its roots with a three panel judges table featuring Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr.

As the Hollywood Reporter explains, Connick Jr. has appeared on the competition show multiple times and was well received as a mentor and performer. Lopez is returning after taking a year off from judging seasons 10 and 11, while Urban is returning for a consecutive second season. Connick Jr was approached to fill the third judge’s spot when negotiations with famed producer and songwriter Dr. Luke fell through due to a conflict with his label Sony Music since Universal Music owns the AI recordings.

Urban announced his return in May on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Around the same time, it was revealed that AI producers were interested in an all new panel of judges replacing Urban, Nikki Minaj and Mariah Carey after one season and long time judge Randy Jackson after 12 seasons.

Lopez’s return was leaked in August when her boyfriend told the media before an official announcement was to be made by the network.

Jackson was rumored to leave the series completely after walking away from the judge’s table, but instead has signed on to be a mentor for the upcoming season.

While an official announcement has yet to be released by Fox, AI host Ryan Seacrest hinted at the news on Friday (Aug 30th) via Twitter.

Auditions are already underway for the show’s 13th season which will premiere in January 2014 on Fox.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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